Over and Out

The Final Table First Friday $10K Guarantee (10,000 chips)

This was the first running of Final Table’s monthly $10K and the size of the field did not disappoint. With a $100 buy-in and a 6 o’clock starting time it presented an attractive target for Portland-area players. Aside from a $10,000 pot, you were pretty much guaranteed to be seated next to some hard-core players, and N—who announced himself at some previous events as “the top earner in Portland poker”—was a couple seats to my right. M, a player I’d seen at a number of the Aces $10Ks was between us. I ran into JG—the third-place finisher at my $10K win two weeks ago who’d had some big wins last month—during the break.

The first bit of the game had me down from 11,000 (including an early-registration bonus) to just above 6,000, but I’d scraped my way back up to that by the 40-minute point. Then, with significant money in the pot, M shoved and I called with AxQx. He was triumphant pre-flop with AxKx, but a queen on the flop threw things my way and he was volubly unhappy with my double-up, exclaiming that he didn’t know how I could make the call.

If he’d hung around at the table for a while, he could have seen how. I lost a couple of large pots to N, who had the high end of one straight I made and the low end of a straight against my two pair. I failed to call down a 3,600 chip raise from the player on my left with a paired king and the board showing straight and flush possibilities with an ace on the river. He flipped over after raking in the chips and showed he had just a pair of nines.

With the 8,000 add-on, I was only holding 21,000 chips going into the round 4 after the break. I had AxJx on the big blind and was heads-up with the guy who’d bluffed me off my king when the flop ran out Jx8x9x and I raised all-in. He flipped over 9x9x and I was almost dead. The turn killed my hand and I was sent home early to watch some episodes from season 1 of Justified.

If things had gone a different way, I’d be off to Prague today. Don’t think I’m going to be able to make the last half of the Grand Sierra Pot of Gold in Reno next week. Next out-of-town target’s the WSOP Circuit at The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles at the beginning of the year.

One hour and forty-five minutes. -100% ROI. 129th of 134 players.